Keemun Mao Feng Black Tea Grade One/AprTea Mall

Keemun is my absolute favorite tea for breakfast. Once upon a time long ago, if you asked for breakfast tea, Keemun was what you were given. These days, even specifically ordering English Breakfast can result in many different types of tea being delivered to you, with Assam or Kenyan tea being the most likely to show up at your table. There are many, many kinds!

But Keemun is gentler on my stomach and still has that “start the day” vibe. Although I rarely add anything to my tea, Keemun can take additions of milk and/or sugar and still shine. The taste is so great as is that I don’t want to dampen it.

This particular Keemun is the middle grade offered by AprTea Mall. I reserve the highest grades for afternoon tea or for drinking by themselves, and I don’t enjoy lower grade Keemun teas nearly as much, but I find a mid-grade to be just what I am looking for in a breakfast tea or to pair with a meal.

The leaves are very dark, long, and lightly twisted. These are whole leaves and not broken bits. The dry leaf aroma is fruity, and the wet leaf aroma is fruity and bright.

It has just enough heft and just enough cocoa or malt flavor to be paired with waffles and syrup and clear the palate without the pucker factor of most breakfast teas. This particular Keemun also has that hint of fruit that earns some of these the designation of a “winey” Keemun, although it is just a hint here and not terribly pronounced.

Overall, I deem this to be a good, serviceable Keemun that I can enjoy as a daily drinker.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  AprTea Mall

Description

Keemun Mao Feng (祁门毛峰): Keemun Mao Feng is a kind of Keemun Black Tea,has a more refined production process.using one bud and one leaf for full fermentation. the shape is cord tight knot small as eyebrow, the luster is Ukraine; tea aroma lasting fragrance, like fruit orchid fragrance, the aroma has this special name “Qimen fragrant” in the international tea market; tea soup color and leaf color is red and bright, the taste is fresh and thick, and even drink with milk and the sweet sugar, the aroma is not only reduced, but more fragrant.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Twisted Black Tea / Cloudwater Tea

Thought it was silly that they wanted this tea to be steeped for 7 minutes. Most teas can hardly make it to five minutes before they are tannic. Which isn’t a bad thing as there are those, like my father, who like a good strong cuppa. Not me though.

So I only went about 3 minutes. It seems like many of the teas I’ve tasted that are grown in volcanic soil tend to be lightly in taste and need a longer steep time. So here we are on my second steeping. I’ve stopped at five minutes out of curiosity.

The astringency is already kicking in but I’ll go the extra two and pray it doesn’t become a bitter bash. They weren’t kidding when they called this twisted. The dry leaves are not just twisting but also curving and rolling. During the two extra minutes the liquid cooled slightly allowing more flavor to come through. Perhaps it’s just me but I really feel that when the water is hot you can’t truly experience any of the flavor.

The mouth feel like clean with a slight caulky feel, but maybe that is the astringency kicking in. Which has strangely mellowed as the water has cooled. Mineral flavors of volcanic soil co-mingle with earthy flavors of cedar and musty, forest floor. If you are ever in Hawai’i grab yourself a bag or better yet go check out their estate in Kilauea.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Cloud Water Tea

Description:

Maintaining a bold and consistent character, our Twisted Black tea is full-bodied, very smooth, and possibly woody with an underlying sweetness and aftertaste of sweet potatoes.

Brewing Suggestions

3 grams per 6oz water. Steep for 7 minutes at 195 – 212 ° F. Re-infuse with increased time.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Gong Fu Black/Zhi Tea

Really wanting to use my new gaiwan tonight, I pawed through my tea samples and my eye fell on this. Perfect! I don’t have to wonder if it is a good candidate for the gaiwan. The name tells me so!

The leaves are thin and twisted, and very dark. They have that heady chocolate aroma you find in black and oolong tea sometimes. After warming the gaiwan and allowing the leaves to rest in it for a moment, the scent is now much nuttier.

I experimented a bit and found that I like this one to have a little more time than I would give some teas. It didn’t become bitter – the main incentive for keeping a steep short would be to prevent bitterness – so I let those warm, rich flavors develop over a few extra seconds. The darkest steep was my favorite.

The tea is creamy, nutty, with a little hint of cocoa. It is so smooth that even a black tea phobe drinking with me liked it plain. Although there is virtually no astringency, there is the slightest briskness that develops over time in a very pleasant way. Walnut is the flavor that I most notice lingering.

I lost count but my guess is that we had about seven or eight steeps from this session. Overall, a very pleasant tea. I definitely want to have a look at this company’s other offerings, as well!


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea

Description

Zhi exclusive. #1 Rated Black Tea in the World!

This exquisite black tea from Fujian Province in China has become the favorite at Zhi. If you like the rich complexity of a classic Chinese black tea with all the hallmark smoothness and depth, be prepared to be enchanted. This is a top-grade exclusive tea with a major wow factor.

Thin, twisted leaves present a deep rich red cup with distinct caramelized sugar and chocolate notes and a long creamy finish. Mouthfeel, mouthfeel, mouthfeel.

If you like a great Keemun or a Gold Yunnan then you will love this tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Ruby/Rakkasan

Sustainability. What does that mean to you?

Is it as simple as maintaining ecological balance within the confines of ones company property or it is more than that?

Any company can put a label on their tin but to live it is a different matter.

Black Ruby comes from a women-only run estate. Though there is no specific information on Milan Kumari Khatri’s tea estate nor that I can currently find on the web, besides what is on the Rakkasan website, I can tell just by sipping this tea that the estate has very high standards.

If English Breakfast had a sister, this would be her. This delicious tea has the usual earthiness but also has some extremely unique fruit undertones, such as black cherries. If you want to support a good company make sure to give this tea a try!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rakkasan Tea Company

Description

This tea is no longer on the website but click below for more information .

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ruhunu Ceylon/Zesta Tea. . . .

I would like to preface this review with the following fun fact – I am a sucker for any ceylon tea.

This tea is part of the Ceylon region pack from zesta tea and features Ceylon from the Ruhunu region which is a low grown region in the south of Sri Lanka. This tea was a loose leaf and required me to utilize one of my tea sacs rather than a stainless steeper as the leaves were so fine.

This was a batch of pure Ceylon meaning that there was no added flavors or herbs to compete with the flavor of the tea. This was a beautifully smooth brew and was one of the best ceylons I’ve ever had. Interestingly I was only able to get one brew out of a batch, but I still think that the tea is worth the cost even at one brew per serving.

Zesta sells this tea as part of their Ceylon region pack, and I would be willing to pay pack price for just this single box. For black tea drinkers, this Ceylon region pack needs to be in your upcoming purchase. This would also make a great gift for tea enthusiasts to test their palate for the subtle differences that growing regions have on a tea – wine drinkers do it all the time, we can too!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zesta Tea

Description

Experience and appreciate the unique taste of premium regional teas, as this regional pack has Ceylon tea from all five tea growing regions – Uva, Ruhunu, Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula, Kandy. Ceylon tea became famous for its unique taste variety that differs across the regions and elevations which are reflected in these teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!